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Plan Your Derby Week

Opening Night presented by Stella Artois and Old Forester

Saturday, April 30

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Kick off Kentucky Derby Week in style as Churchill Downs partners with the Fund for the Arts to combine the Thrill of Racing and the Best of Louisville Arts. Throughout this premier evening of live racing, actors, dancers, musicians, visual artists and more will perform throughout the track. The night will also feature the inaugural Awards in the Arts, a partnership between the Fund for the Arts and the Jennifer Lawrence Foundation, recognizing the best in the Louisville arts scene.

Performances for the evening include: Ashley Brossart; CirqueLouis; David O. Schuster; La’Nita Rocknette School of Dance; Deccan Divas; Jo Ross; KMAC Couture; Kentucky Shakespeare; Louisville Leopard Percussionists; Louisville Orchestra; Louisville Youth Choir; Matt McDole + Revelry Gallery; Randell Madden, Susan Howe and Judy Rogers with Mudpies Studio; Rose Flowers; Tiffany Carbonneau + Susanna Crum; Your Friendly Neighborhood Big Band

A portion of the proceeds from Opening Night will benefit the Fund for the Arts. Gates open at 5:00 p.m., the first live race is at 6:00 p.m. Tickets start at just $10.00.

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Dawn at the Downs

Tuesday–Thursday, May 3–5

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A popular tradition for both Louisvillians and visitors, giving Kentucky Derby fans the opportunity to see the contenders train for the big race, while listening to expert commentary. Narrated by ESPN & CNN contributor, Gary West, and resident expert handicapper, Joe Kristufek, listen as West and Kristufek announce the horses on the track, evaluate their workouts, discuss their past performances, and provide insight to the Kentucky Derby & Oaks races.

Tickets start at $37 for an adult, and include a reserved dining seat and breakfast chef's table.

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Derby Week Racing

Tuesday, May 3rd & Wednesday, May 4th

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Kentucky Derby week is one of the best times to experience live racing at Churchill Downs. Be a part of the excitement as racing returns under the Twin Spires and Kentucky Derby and Oaks contenders visit the Paddock to take a look around before the big day.

Thurby presented by

Thursday, May 5

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Enjoy live bourbon cocktail demonstrations by Old Forester Master Bourbon Specialist, Jackie Zykan & local bartenders while you enjoy local Kentucky bands on the Plaza Stage.  Enter the Thurby Classic text to win contest for your chance to win tickets to this year’s Oaks and Derby.  Winners are paired with a horse running the final race.  The winning horse’s contestant wins a box for 6.

Tickets start at $20 for general admission.

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Taste of Derby

Thursday, May 5

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Kick off your Kentucky Derby weekend in style at the sixth annual Taste of Derby presented by Stella Artois. Mingle with horse racing celebrities as you savor an evening of exquisite cuisine and exceptional wines. Sample regional specialties with wine pairings, created by nationally renowned chefs along the Road to the Kentucky Derby, as you enjoy live entertainment from Downtown Band and a live chef cooking showdown. Join us from 7 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. as we start the Kentucky Derby celebration with flavor!

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Kentucky Oaks

Friday, May 6

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The Longines Kentucky Oaks is America's premier and most lucrative horse race for 3-year-old fillies, and the third most attended day of racing in the U.S. Held each year on the day before the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks day embraces PINK style & attire (for both the women & the men) and drives awareness for critical women's health issues in partnership with Bright Pink and Horses and Hope.

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Official Derby Events

Taste of Derby – Barnstable Brown Gala – Unbridled Eve Gala – Fillies & Lilies

Make the Kentucky Derby even more unforgettable. Attend an Official Derby Event.

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